FG attracts $1bn investment into automotive industry

• As Reps uncover multi-billion naira extra-budgetary expenditures by MDAs

The Federal Government, on Wednesday, disclosed that it attracted over $1 billion investment into the automotive industry in the year 2019.

Director-General of National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Mr Jelani Aliyu, disclosed this at the opening of the two-day investigative hearing held at the instance of the Ad-hoc Committee into the financial budgetary approvals and multilateral donation on skills acquisition and related programs of Federal Government and its agencies, chaired by Hon Victor Akinjo.

He said: “We have the core responsibility of developing the automotive sector, that’s to encourage and promote the assembling and production of the vehicle in Nigeria as opposed to continued importation of them from overseas and exporting jobs and revenues outside of Nigeria. It is our responsibility to keep all those funds here in Nigeria and promote our own.

“The first one is investment promotion to encourage investment into Nigeria and I’m pleased to say that as of 2019, we managed to bring about 1billion dollars into the country by companies such as Honda, Innoson, Dangote cement trucks and so on.

“These companies have the storage capacity of 400,000 vehicles, to all things being equal they’ve invested in Nigeria. We’re also playing our role in being part of the future by joining the rest of the world in their advances such as electric vehicles.

“It’s one thing to produce vehicles and another thing for people to buy them. That’s why we are at an advanced stage of discussion with Wema, Jaiz, Zenith banks to provide single-digit auto financing for made in Nigeria vehicles. As soon as we get the necessary approval, Nigerians will be able to put down 10 per cent, drive off with a new car made in Nigeria and pay over five years, rather than being forced to pay everything 100 per cent.”

According to some of the reports submitted to the Committee, contracts worth multi-billion naira awarded by various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the training/skill acquisition programmes were implemented without Appropriation between 2011 and 2020.

Some of the MDAs invited are; Bank of Industry, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), North East Development Commission, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TetFund), National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Bank of Agriculture, Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN), Presidential Amnesty Programme (Amnesty Office), Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN), Local Content Development Board, NIRSAL Plc and NIRSAL Microfinance Bank, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and National Automotive Design and Development Council.

Others include; Federal Capital Territory Administration, National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), Industrial Training Fund, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Federal Ministries of Labour and Employment, Works, Foreign Affairs, Education, Youths & Sports, Agriculture & Rural Development, Science & Technology, Finance, Budget & National Planning, among others.

The Committee also requested documentary evidence of payment into consolidated account from various services rendered by the MDAs as well as a copy of the Appropriation Acts for the fiscal years under review, a list of all the beneficiaries who received various.

While assuring that the Committee is not out to witch-hunt anybody, Hon. Akinjo reiterated the resolve of the House towards ensuring value for money.

In his presentation, Managing Director of Bank of Agriculture, Awwal Alhassan, confirmed that the sum of N50 billion equity was provided by the Federal Ministry of Finance Incorporated and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) based on 60/40 per cent shareholding.

He also confirmed that the Bank is currently managing some funds on behalf of various MDAs including the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs for implementation of social intervention programmes.

On his part, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige who noted that the Ministry has the statutory power for the certification of all skill acquisition programmes in the country, however, lamented that a lot of activities on skills acquisition being carried out by various MDAs are not coordinated.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Yerima Tarfa, unveiled plans to reduce the level of unemployment among Nigerian citizens through the implementation of the skill acquisition development programmes.

In his address, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, underscored the need for the implementation of policies and programmes that will “help the private sector to thrive and to create jobs for our teeming population of young people.

The Speaker who was represented by the Majority Leader, Hon Ado Doguwa said: “We need also to pay attention to the need to make sure that our young people have the skills they need to be employable and productive.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria in the 2021 Appropriation Act, and in previous Appropriation Acts, has provided funding for programmes intended to bridge the skills gap among our young people and to enhance human capital development in the country.

“In addition to funding, the government has implemented other programmes, and the agencies of government have received external funding for the same purpose.

“Now, in the exercise of our constitutional role to oversee the implementation of government programmes and the utilisation of public resources, the House of Representatives has constituted an Ad-hoc Committee to review these programmes, examine the utilisation of funds and understand what has been done so far, so we can determine to what extent those efforts have yielded the desired outcomes.

“I urge all the stakeholders present today, as well as others who hold the same ambitions we do for the development of Nigeria and the wellbeing of all her peoples, to contribute constructively to the conversations that will hold over the course of this hearing. I also ask the representatives of the ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government to see this hearing as part of the joint task of nation-building and engage with the committee in that understanding.”

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FG attracts $1 billion investment into automotive industry

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FG attracts $1 billion investment into automotive industry

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